Obama Tensions With Putin in Spotlight After Canceled Trip

ABC News' Karen Travers discusses the two world leaders' relationship.
6:37 | 08/07/13

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Transcript for Obama Tensions With Putin in Spotlight After Canceled Trip
This is this special report from ABC news. I'm Dan -- -- with this ABC news digital special reports President Obama to Russia. Canceled -- the White House pulling out of an upcoming meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin's. Over a growing list of frustrations with Russia and at the top of that list the recent asylum. Granted to NSA -- Edwards Snowden even after the US urged Russia not to do so the Kremlin brushing it off. It's not a significant issue turnouts in -- turning to be -- very big deal ABC's contractors charged slot Washington with the latest Karen. Good afternoon Dan last night President Obama said there are times when Russia seems to be slipping back into Cold War thinking. And the White House has been very frustrated with president who -- handling of this -- -- situation and today they seem to be drawing a line in the sand. US Russian relations have recently been strained. And the Kremlin's decision last week to give an -- legal Edwards noting temporary asylum fueled the flames. The White House announced that President Obama will not meet one on one with president Vladimir Putin next month when he's in Russia for an international summit. The White House said in a statement that there wasn't enough progress on the US Russian agenda to justify a meeting. Bob there's also this Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edwards -- temporary asylum was also -- -- There there's a law breaker -- -- alleged lawbreakers. In their country we evaluated. And we try to work with them. They didn't do that. With us those -- president Obama's first comments about -- asylum -- is also candid about his relationship with president -- and -- -- the truth is that. When we have meetings we can have some pretty blunt exchanges here an animated exchanges President Obama was facing significant political pressure at home from Republicans and Democrats. Russia has stabbed us in the back Russian officials from who knocked down have said repeatedly that they didn't think the -- -- situation should affect the US Russian relationship. But American officials thought otherwise. Obama had to be more confident that there is going to be some real deliverables -- -- the summit but I think that just made the calculation that the summit was going to be -- to deliver. And that it wasn't going to be worth the the kinds of criticism he was gonna face at home. Russian officials said they're disappointed there will be no Obama -- meeting next month and -- they say the imitation is still on the table. So Karen Edwards snow just one of the issues that led to this move by the White House by not doing anything by not making that kind of very public announcement. -- risks that the Obama administration might have appeared to be weak regarding Snowden. That is certainly something that we have heard from Russian experts who say that's how the Kremlin is gonna play this that President Obama was scared to sit down with president prudent because he is facing so much political pressure here at home but. Of course this also a very big deal to president -- he's hosting this large international summit the G-20 summit in his hometown of Saint Petersburg his meeting with President Obama was gonna be a side meeting one on one in Moscow. So that's what's not going to happen the president will still be going to Russia so we're -- -- be of course looking for every little interaction winner at that summit when -- in the same room together where did they say it how much do they look at each other whether or not they have any exchanges but this side meeting as bilateral meeting the White House decided today. It just wasn't worth -- they weren't gonna have enough progress on some of the other issues that are on the US Russian agenda. That just didn't make it worth it to go all the way to Moscow and of course they're just not happy with what president who has been doing -- -- -- they don't wanna give him that photo opera. I -- and salute can't forget there was a lot of tension when those world leaders met in NORTHERN IRELAND just a short time ago and -- -- -- -- -- from the physical exchanged back and forth between the president and and prudent about that. But what about the timing of this announcement though in this is some of the video that we're looking at from NORTHERN IRELAND from that meeting there. What about the timing of this announcement again is -- -- it's known that granted asylum was about a week or two about a week and a half back. And it was a week ago when Russia didn't give him that temporary visa to stay in Russia for one year and up until that point every day every single time the White House was asked about this they would say we want Russia to turn him over he is not a whistle -- he's a fugitive he should be returned to the US where he should be will be facing charges and the White House will say we gave them enough chances we -- them enough warning we talked about this every single day. And they still went ahead and gave Edward Stone and that political asylum. That's why I think you see this decision coming today not a month ago when it was still potentially. Something that could be worked out it obviously was not and now Edward -- industry to stay in Russia for -- year. And the White House and that was -- now of course there was a whole host of other issues that are on the table. There have been tensions between the US and Russia over Syria there has been that recent story about -- treatment of gay people and how that might affect the Olympics next year. But of course this seems to be something that was sort of a tipping point not the entire thing this is not the only factor in the decision to cancel this meeting but certainly a big one as you saw that statement from the White House today. What about secretary of state John Kerry and secretary defense Chuck Hagel were -- to meet with their Russian counterparts that means that -- -- by that. Seems -- -- still taking place and the White House will say well that happened on that lower level these are the meetings -- -- gonna take place below the president but you know as we said the president couldn't really wanted to have President Obama and Moscow this'll make him look like a big shot look like a player in the international scene. The White House is gonna deny him that photo opportunity he'll be in his country for that summit but he's not gonna get that meeting but like you said we were just looking at that video. Their relationship is so restrained I mean we saw how they were last month the NORTHERN IRELAND have another meeting like that not sure that have a photo lab benefits either -- at this point. And President Obama is certainly candid about how that relationship is -- and usually hear presidents say it looks as we just don't get along but that's all part of diplomacy. Right exactly -- the hearing those words Cold War repeated over and over for a lot of these instances ABC's Karen terrorists in Washington Karen thank you for that we appreciate it. We of course have a complete recap on abcnews.com. On that major announcement from the White House and in -- President Obama will not be meeting one on one. With Russia's President -- recruiting. Of course we'll continue to follow the story on abcnews.com. For now on Dan Kessler in New York. With this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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